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Dr. Lei Yu

Distinguished Professor, Department of Genetics, Division of Life Sciences, School of Arts and Sciences

Office: SMH 107

Email: yu@biology.rutgers.edu

Phone: 848-445-0794

Curriculum Vitae:

  • Bio
  • Current Research
  • Grants
  • Selected Publications
  • Education
  • Other Information


Lei Yu, Ph.D., is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Genetics and Human Genetics Institute, and leads the neuropharmacogenetics lab at the Center of Alcohol & Substance Use Studies at Rutgers University.  He earned his Ph.D. in Biology from California Institute of Technology in 1987.  From 1988 to 1997, he taught at Indiana University School of Medicine.  From 1997 to 2005, he taught at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine.  Since 2005, he has been teaching and conducting biomedical research at Rutgers University. https://genetics.rutgers.edu/cb-profile/leiyu8

Current Research

  • Rodent models of alcohol drinking, and influence by social environment and gender
  • Human genetic variations that impact alcohol drinking, drug use, and other compulsive behaviors
  • Brain-expressed genes associated with alcohol preference and relapse
  • Physiological analysis of spinal cord neuro-sensory systems in nerve pain
  • Rodent models of analgesia with genetic and pharmacological therapeutics
  • Cell and rodent models to identify protein networks underlying nerve pain and alcoholism
  • Rodent models to identify potential drugs for treating nerve pain and alcoholism
  • Computational analysis of genetic impact in longitudinal alcoholism studies
  • Genetic and computational analysis of diabetic neuropathy and inflammation-mediated chronic pain


NIH (1R43NS120617-01A1) (2021 – 2023) Chemokine-receptor profiling for painful diabetic neuropathy in biological samples from human clinical trials. The major goals of this project are to measure CCR2 receptor expression profiles in biological samples from the human clinical trial, to stratify subject population based on CCR2 A-B ratio, and to correlate the profiles with drug treatment outcome. ($231,000)


Busch Biomedical Grant, Rutgers University (2019 -2023). Targeting SIP30 for Neuropathic Pain Relief with U1 Adaptor Gene Silencing Technology. The major goals of this project are to use SIP30-specific U1 Adaptor, and test for its in vivo stability and efficacy in rodent models of neuropathic pain. ($40,000)


NIH (1R43NS108887-01) (2018 – 2019) Chemokine-receptor expression profiling in biological samples from human clinical trials. The major goals of this project are to develop methods for evaluating CCR2 receptor isoform 2A vs. 2B mRNA ratio in human serum, and to correlate measured CCR2 receptor isoform profile of patients with their drug treatment response in neuropathic pain. ($74,250)

Selected Publications

Eishingdrelo H, Qin X, Yuan L, Kongsamut S, Yu L (2022) Ligands can differentially and temporally modulate GPCR interaction with 14-3-3 isoforms. Current Research in Pharmacology and Drug Discovery, 3, 100123. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.crphar.2022.100123


Nyman J, Guo N, Sandström A, Hallberg M, Nyberg F, Yu L (2021) The amino-terminal heptapeptide of the algesic substance P provides analgesic effect in relieving chronic neuropathic pain. European Journal of Pharmacology 892, 173820. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ejphar.2020.173820


Sachdeo BLY, Yu L, Giunta GM, Bello NT (2019) Binge-like eating is not influenced by the murine model of OPRM1 A118G polymorphism. Frontiers in Psychology 10, 246. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.00246


Zeng L, Tao Y, Hou W, Zong L, Yu L (2018) Electro-acupuncture improves psychiatric symptoms, anxiety and depression in methamphetamine addicts during abstinence: A randomized controlled trial. Medicine, 97(34), e11905. https://doi.org/10.1097/MD.0000000000011905


1987 PhD, California Institute of Technology, Biology
1981 MS, Institute of Genetics, Academia Sinica, Beijing, China, Molecular Genetics
1979 BS, Wuxi College of Light Industry, Wuxi, China, Industrial Fermentation


Other Information

Research Interest: Genetic predisposition to alcoholism, drug abuse, and other compulsive behaviors in humans; Genetic factors influencing alcohol drinking in rodent models; Behavioral patterns of alcohol preference and social environment in rodent models; Molecular mechanisms of neuro-sensory processes, including pain, stress, and analgesia